THE PLOT THUS FAR
WHAT WE THOUGHT
I saw “Swimming to Cambodia” roughly four times before I ever saw “The Killing Fields”. The first time I saw this movie, I didn’t have any idea who Pol Pot was. But, I was seven. I was a very odd seven year old. Spalding Gray calls his version of performance art a “talking cure.” The facts, opinions, insights, fears and hopes drawn from the epiphany he received from his experiences in the Asian Rim shooting “The Killing Fields” and his education of the plight of the Cambodian people circa early to mid seventies is overwhelming. This is a story of the human condition as told by a master.
Remember that this is a topical movie because it was made in 1987. By that time the infamous “killing fields” were gone and Pol Pot’s regime had been driven out of Cambodia by rebels supported by the Vietnamese. However, the Heng Samrin regime was far from democratic and for some strange reason the UN continued to recognize the Khmer Rouge regime — the one led by Pol Pot — as the legitimate government of Cambodia in one of history’s craziest throws of the cosmic dice.
The DVD comes with an interview from director Jonathan Demme. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for standard definition. However, there are minor moments of digital noise. The Dolby track supports the dialogue and that’s all that matters for an important piece of performance art. I’d recommend a purchase to all. I just wish Spalding Gray stuck around long enough to give us a commentary. It’s a shame that there’s no Spalding Gray in a Rick Dees world anymore.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!